Annette takes a few minutes at the beginning to update listeners about social security during the COVID-19 crisis and what you can do to access your benefits as well as get answers from the social security office. As of the date of this podcast, the offices are closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Annette suggests setting up an account online with social security so you can access certain information. She offers tip for navigating the system during this time.

Annette on this podcast talks about how to keep your planning updated for times of crisis and beyond. The Coronavirus crisis has caused many to take a step back and take a deeper look at their planning. Your plans always need to be buttoned up and, up to date but never more important than when the country and the world goes into a crisis.

Annette runs through some of the most important items you need to be thinking of in your special needs planning. The first item she points out is to make sure you have a will and to make sure it is up to date. But it may not be the most important document in your plan.

One of the more important items you should be looking at are incapacity documents. These are your healthcare proxy, power of attorney and your HIPA releases. But keep in mind, these documents are dictated by state laws and should be updated if you have moved. Annette goes through these documents in more detail in the podcast.

The next item is guardianship and as Annette points out, this is different in every state as well. For example, standby guardians or backup plan can be different depending on the state so it is important to find out how state laws outline this. It is a good idea to speak with your attorney about guardianship for the best advice.

Annette talks about having your trust planning in order. And specifically, special needs trusts. Laws may not have changed but the way public benefits can change over the course of time so it is important to revisit this document over time.

Annette also discusses the Letter of Intent as another important document you should have. Everything from healthcare wishes, other wants and needs and specific directions should be in this letter. These are for anyone you have caregiving responsibilities for. They are wishes you have for your special needs loved one.

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